May 20

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 20: “They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” ― Harper Lee

The saying I used to hear a lot around meetings was that “when we know better, we have to DO better.” There is some comfort in knowing that we do the best we can until we find a better way to be.

I am not sure this applies with integrity. I think we all have that inner direction or compass that can be listened to. A lot of us just choose not to.

And we may believe things for a very long time and then learn more about that situation and be surprised at how narrow our scope of vision was. That has happened to me on many different fronts. I am always open to learning more about a situation. I find that my narrow view is often not where I want to stand.

There were times in my life that I did not have that vision. I was so fear-based in my thinking and subsequent behavior that I would fight to the death for my opinions. When you realize how ridiculous THAT is, it is astonishing. And it can be in areas that are so inconsequential as to be laughable, only I have taken myself WAY too seriously for long periods of time.

I hope I am past that. I certainly do believe it is necessary to retain a sense of humor as I age and go through some of the wonder that brings. Resisting that is a huge source of frustration and disappointment. But learning to live into it is kind of a cool adventure.

I love the quote above. And I really love the last line. There is no majority rule when I know what is right for me. It is only me to has to live with the consequences and finality of the choices I make in this world. It may impact another if it regards a relationship, but I can only work with what I have. We all have this restriction.

We make choices every day, sometimes without information that might have changed the choice, but it is the best we can do, based on where we stand in that moment. I find that beating myself up after the fact is not only futile, but brutal as well…see how I made a poem there? Yeah, I am paying attention today. lol

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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